Monday, June 24, 2013

(Conflicting) Clarion Calls

Early today, both supporters and opponents of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) formed crowds outside Rep. Joe Heck's office near Henderson to let their voices be heard. And of course, Heck's office staff responded by passing out comment forms. Perhaps the jury is still out on where Rep. Heck will land on the CIR debate.

But later today, the epicenter of the CIR political drama returned to Capitol Hill. And not just that, but the US Senate again became the center of attention as the long awaited border security amendment finally reached the Senate floor. And not only that, but it then sailed to a very easy 67-27 passage! Even Senator Dean Heller (R) voted for it, which now has more pro-reform activists feeling confident about finally securing his support for the final bill.

So does this mean CIR will finally happen this year? Not so fast. Even as this latest legislative breakthrough was underway, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) flip-flopped on her support of/opposition to S 744. And so did Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), who's now vowing to fight against the very legislation he promised to work on earlier this year. And the ongoing G-O-TEA civil war over immigration reform only worsens as various high-profile right wing publications duel over S 744.

Over the weekend, President Obama made the case (again) for some sort of Congressional action on CIR. So of course, he acknowledged that now means S 744 must pass. So will it? Can it?

If it can, then it means the likes of Dean Heller and Joe Heck will have to turn their backs on the G-O-TEA base. Even though 71% of Nevadans support CIR with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and 64% specifically support S 744, the "tea party" continues to fight against reform. Will the "TEA" tinged clarion calls be enough for Heller & Heck to resist, especially since 71% of Nevadans stand on the other side of this divide?

That remains to be seen (especially for Rep. Heck).

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